Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Open letter to BT

Dear BT,

Thank you for the problem with the Maenclochog exchange last Thursday which deprived the village and the entire surrounding area of its broadband connection.

Thank you for saying that it could not possibly be a widespread problem as you had not had enough complaints. Thank you for not taking into account that this is a sparsely populated rural area so it was impossible to reach the mythical number you required. Perhaps you should have counted the pupils at the school and the customers of the Post Office on an individual basis.

Thank you for the continued instruction on how to remove the front of the telephone socket inside my house. I keep unscrewing it to look but a test socket has still not magically appeared. Thank you for reminding me to turn my PC off and on again and to unplug my telephone for the afternoon.

Thank you again for telling me to replace my router and microfilter. Both were working perfectly but I understand you require me to drive the 30 miles to Carmarthen to spend £60 on replacements just to be sure.

Thanks also for the threat of a big bill when the BT engineer calls round and finds the non-existent problem with the telecommunication equipment inside my house. I told you the problem was external just as it was last time but I understand I am a clueless woman and you know better. Thank you also for confirming that my telephone line is working perfectly because obviously I couldn't work this out for myself when I dialled my ISP to report the problem.

Thank you for sending out an engineer to begin visiting my neighbours on an individual basis because, obviously, all of our routers, microfilters and PCs mysteriously failed all at the same time.

But I save my biggest thanks for the engineer who drove to the exchange and fixed the problem. It turned out that it was a fault at the exchange after all. Who'd have thought huh?

Just one more thing.


Kind regards.


  1. So it's not just Virgin Media, then?

  2. It was exactly the same at Ferwig... and BT didn't listen then either. Let's see what happens here... in my tiny, remote hamlet!

  3. Doncha just love 'em? I assume you were trying to convince an Indian call centre that it WAS an external problem . . .

  4. Oh God are you sure you weren't talking about my village? We are always going through this as a broadband balck spot. In fact living less than 20 miles from Martlesham (the BT Reswearch centere) I have been told by BT that if I want a connection I will have to move, along with the other 140 households. We are at the end of a line, will never have a big enough weighting unless a further 500 households are built which is ophysically impossible, so I get my broadband through the ether at 5x the cost... but at least I am connected. The joys of rural iife!

  5. Ah, yes; "rural service" is indeed an oxymoron. Sounds like rural Canada.

    Sorry your engineers have nothing between their ears except engineering formulae!

    I was depressed before I read this, Mags. Now, I think I'll find myself a large, dark hole, and pull the ground in over top of me.

  6. Oh, you are seriously disturbing my country dreams with this post, Mags.

    I guess that there are some benefits to be living in a very densely populated city. (But sometimes our connections don't connect, so I can share your reactions.)

    Hoping that all will stay connected round your area for the rest of spring, and into summer, too.

  7. I live about 15 miles away from you, and have just been off-line for two days. The young BT engineer who visited (because he had been told there was a problem on the line - there isn't, it's just broadband) said that at least 100 homes and business are currently affected, with more going down all the time. They don't know what is causing it, and for each individual fault, someone has to re-do the computer programme at the exchange, which he thinks is somewhere in the Midlands!
    I was slightly cheered when he told me that one of his bosses is affected! Bet he doesn't have to ring India three times!

  8. Oh I have to say I agree, their service has really declined and their out of hours call centres (out of UK) are awful, unsympathetic and lack knowledge

  9. Hi maggie
    I popped over from the BMB commenting group. I hope you don't mind that I laughed at your story - we had a similar issue (we're semi rural here). Eventually we just happened to see a BT engineer waist deep in a hole near our house. We asked him if he was working on our fault (he wasn't) so we asked him if he could just take a look while he was there anyway. He picked up a handful of wires and, well, Divine Intervention must have taken place, because he actually pulled out a split wire which was ours....go figure! If we hadn't have happened to see him though, we'd probably still be offline now!

  10. Grrrr, here we go again. I just might use that direct line through to the PA of the chairman (person) at BT... We're trying to run an IT company in a rural area, come on UK PLC, we need to do better than this.


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.